(Not the beginning of a bad joke, though maybe it could be. Instead, it describes two of our classes last week who had the pleasure of hosting two illustrious and kind politicians willing to share their experiences with our students.)
This past Monday, my students had the opportunity to hear not one but two of their elected representatives speak. In my class, Women in Politics, Indiana's Secretary of State, Connie Lawson, visited our class and shared her insight and experiences as a woman with great success in state politics.
Secretary of State Connie Lawson introducing herself to the class. As one student said to me, "I can't believe she came out here to speak to us!" We know politicians are very busy but I was incredibly flattered and grateful that the Secretary made time to share her experiences with our students.
The Secretary said she was never treated differently because she was a woman, but she did have to balance family and work and continues to maintain that balance today as a grandmother and a constitutional officeholder in the state.
One of my favorite pictures this year! It is a little difficult to see everyone (we struggled to find the best place to take a photograph--clearly my artistic skills are failing me) but this is the Secretary (seated) and the students in my Women in Politics class. I was thrilled the Secretary was so kind in sharing her knowledge and experience with our class and I was likewise very proud of my students for their insightful questions. Perhaps there is a future Secretary of State in this very picture? :)
In one of my colleague's classes on Political Communication, Congressional Representative Andre Carson spoke to the students about his role in Congress and the relationship he and elected officials have with the media.
He was very articulate but still down-to-earth and the students clearly loved engaging with him as he spoke about how he got involved in politics and how his career has evolved overtime. I knew about his grandmother (Julia Carson) through my own interest of women politicians but this was the first time I saw Representative Carson speak. I loved hearing about the work he does in Congress and how he represents us Hoosiers in DC.
Representative Carson spoke to the class and since there was an empty seat in the front row, I felt lucky enough to snag it. Somewhere we took another beautiful group picture too but I am not sure where it is. If I find it, I will certainly post it.
Did I mention these both happened on the same day? I was smiling so hard my face hurt by the end of the day, but it was totally and completely worth it. I felt so lucky to have generous elected representatives who are willing to connect with our future leaders, our students, and also so grateful to have students who are so passionate about politics that they are already learning from those who have paved the way before them.